I made this recipe last year for my husbands company Christmas party. It was a hit!!! Loved how all the flavors come together. I'm am making it again this week for this year's company party as well.Read More
I made this cake for my sister's birthday on Christmas day and was very pleased with the end result. I made the cake using 9" cake pans instead of throw-away pans, and they were done in 16 minutes in my oven. The key to avoiding a dry cake is to mix in the dry ingredients just until moistened. Never over-mix! I also freeze the layers, each wrapped individually with plastic wrap, in order to make frosting the cake a neater process, and I believe it helps to maintain the moisture in the cake. The flavors of the cake with a hint of spice vs. tart, yet sweet cranberry filling, and the apple cider frosting made for one big hit at our family's Christmas gathering. I also attempted the trees, approaching this project as "just-for-fun" so that if they didn't turn out, I wouldn't be disappointed. They may not have looked as perfect as the ones on the cover of the magazine, but they still looked great, and made for quite an impressive looking cake. I made a 1/2 recipe of the frosting for the trees, and made only three trees. I also decorated my trees with crushed candy cane, which worked well. I will definitely make this cake again.
I made the cake with some curiosity about the combination of ingredients. Spice, cranberry, apple cider? We'll see. What a pleasant surprise. What made this cake work so well for me was the blending of the flavors; one not overpowering the other. The spices in the cake were just enough to enhance the cranberry. The apple cider reduction was not distinguishable in the frosting as such, but it did light up the cranberry nicely. The very sweet frosting complimented the tartness of the cranberry. All together, the combined flavors were delightful and well worth the extra time in preparation. The recipe called for chilling the filling for 8-24 hours, but I wanted this finished in an afternoon, so I let the filling sit for 30 minutes, then put it in the freezer for another 30-45 minutes and it was fine. I did pipe a ring around the top of the frosted cake and fill the center with crushed walnuts. I will warn that the layers are thin so do not overbake them! I did not make the cone trees so I did not double the frosting. The finished cake was quite beautiful and presented well. I would definitely make this cake again.
My daughter and I made this cake for our Christmas dinner. We found it to be dry. The cranberry filling was good, but the cake was not only dry but had a hardly recognizable spice taste. The frosting called for in the recipe was way too much. Instead of making a double batch as suggested,, we made a single batch which iced the cake and all the ice cream cone trees with enough left over to frost a smaller cake and two dozen cookies. Making the apple cider reduction was a waste of time, because the cider taste was lost in the end result. I remade the cake, using Mel’s Kitchen Café’s yellow cake recipe and added my own spices. It was moist and had a much stronger spice taste. For a cover cake, this recipe was found wanting in a number of ways. My son’s Jello pudding chocolate pie with a store-bought graham cracker crust got raves whereas our multi-hour effort was dismissed with a few shrugs. The cake is very pretty and the idea of using the cones as trees is a great one. So I recommend using a different cake recipe, the same cranberry filling, and less frosting minus the apple cider reduction if you decide to make this cake.Read More